Masking in Social Network Sites - Translating a Real-World Social Practice to the Online Domain
IT - Information Technology 2011 (1): 26-34.
8 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013
Date Written: Jan 2011
Research shows that most social network sites contain serious privacy risks for users. Many of these risks revolve around users’ inability to know exactly who the “audience” is that witnesses their online behaviours. In this article we argue that in the offline world individuals regularly use the strategy of “masking” to hide their visibility when the composition of their audience is unknown. We claim that “masking” should also be facilitated in social network sites to enhance users’ privacy-protection. However, SNSs’ platform design, focused on self-presentation, makes its implementation difficult.
Keywords: social network sites, SNS, privacy, audience segregation, masking
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